Villaraigosa could copy the Blagojevich billboard-removal crews

People were cheering in Chicago and other parts of Illinois today after crews openly began dismantling the obnoxious blue signs that ousted Governor Milorad Blagojevich had slathered all over the state in an embarrassing effort to personally take credit for road projects.

When I saw this efficient-looking crew taking down the Blagojevich sign on Interstate Highway 355 in Illinois, it struck me: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Council President Eric Garcetti could hire those same crews to come to Los Angeles to destroy the 4,000 illegal billboards on L.A.'s cluttered streets and boulevards.

As Christine Pelisek has reported in her numerous Weekly scoops (much of the local media ignored this issue for years, but, hey, we're glad they caught up), thousands of illegally erected billboards, some of which may not even be safe to walk under, have proliferated for years under City Hall's leadership.

And as she explained this week, the Los Angeles media is wrong in recently reporting that the City Council is now considering a serious ban. Uh, uh. They are actually considering a massive expansion in billboard proliferation, targeting 20 mostly unsuspecting neighborhoods from Ballona Creek/Playa Vista to Van Nuys.

In Los Angeles, it takes not one day, but about ten years to get rid of

a few illegal billboards. And now City Hall is creating new legal loopholes with their dithering, allowed illegal

super-graphics to cover many buildings, wiping out views and fire exits for those inside.

Villaraigosa's, Garcetti's and City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo's mishandling of this issue has got folks riled up from Larchmont to Sacramento,

where former Westside city councilman and now state legislator Mike Feuer wants

a ban on pulsating digital billboards, more than 800 of which have been approved with virtually no debate by the Los Angeles City Council.

But Feuer's proposed digital billboard ban is fairly narrowly focused on stopping the ultrabright LED billboards due to safety concerns, such as drivers going off the road while mesmerized by Coke ads.

Angelenos are fighting these ultrabright outdoor advertisements not so much due to safety issues, but

because these huge signs wreck neighborhoods. They can be seen up to four miles, thanks to nearly 500,000 LED lights that glow right through thick curtains like bad neon in a red

light district.

Chicago is

ripping down its Blagojevich signs because they're an affront and an

assault to the eyes. That only takes one day in the state of Illinois.


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